Nov. 1 (UPI) — Armed med hijacked and torched a bus in Northern Ireland around dawn on Monday, sparking fears of Brexit-related violence in the region.
No passengers were on the bus at the time, but the masked men forced the driver of the bus to get off of the bus before setting it on fire.
Negotiations between the European Union and Britain about the Northern Ireland Protocol began during Brexit, and a Nov. 1 deadline was set by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party on the Stormont executive to make major changes to the protocol.
Claims that loyalists carried out the attack to protest the passing of the deadline were reported by BBC Northern Ireland.
The attack was condemned by all parties involved, and the Democratic Unionist Party leader Jeffrey Donaldson said progress has already been made following the party’s threat to leave the executive.
Strangford Ulster Unionist Member of Legislative Assembly Mike Nesbitt said there was no justification for the attack.
“If this was meant to be some kind of protest against the NI Protocol then it is entirely counterproductive,” he told Belfast Live. “Vandalism and wanton destruction can never be the way forward.”